Hot & smokey macaroni bake

Serves 4  Preparation Time 15 Minutes      Cooking Time 15 Minutes

Macaroni cheese has always been one of my most favoured comfort foods. My earliest but not the most pleasant memory of this wonderful dish was from a tin of Heinz macaroni cheese. I can still remember the cloying texture and artificial flavour.

Now, mac n cheese is a favourite family dish and also widely available in restaurants too. No longer is it the dish from American TV shows.

I have been playing around with different sauces for the dish and since I love the smokey cajun style flavours I thought it would make a good mac sauce. I am pleased today this was utterly delicious. If it needs to be made gluten-free then just substitute the flour and the pasta for GF versions.

Using paprika and a hot sauce really adds a smokey taste to this dish and it is always nice to ring the changes now and again.



  • 360g dry macaroni or pasta
  • 1.5 tbsp of dairy-free butter
  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1.5 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves chopped
  • 1 tbsp chipotle or hot sauce ( more if you want it extra hot)
  • 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml plant-based milk
  • 100 ml vegan soya or oat single cream
  • 2 tsp cornflour mixed with 3 tbsp of water
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 3/4 tbsp English mustard
  • 1 large of a few small tomatoes thinly sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g dairy-free grated cheese, I used Daiya


Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 5, 375F

1. Place a large pan of salted water onto boil, once boiling add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent the pasta sticking and set to one side.

2. In the same saucepan (I am all for saving on washing up) melt the dairy-free butter before adding the onions and garlic. Cook on a low heat until gently sweated, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme and mix in for a few minutes.

3. Next, add the flour and combine well and using a balloon whisk add the milk and stir vigorously, bring to the boil and allow to thicken and then turn down the heat.

4. Now add the vegan cream, cornflour mix, chipotle sauce, tomato ketchup and mustard. season and then check to taste if it needs any more chipotle sauce or seasoning.

5. Pour the pasta into the pan and stir together and then spoon into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the cheese and top with the sliced tomatoes and any leftover thyme leaves.

6. Place in the oven and cook for around 15 minutes until it begins to crisp up or alternately place under a hot grill.

7. Serve straight away with a mixed salad and some crisp green vegetables.




If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my facebook page I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would love to hear your comments too.


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